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As of this morning, it seems as though the election has broken Barak Obama’s way.
I’ve heard it suggested that the loser in this election will blame Sandy. If Romney loses, I think he will have a point. If Obama loses he’ll have plenty of other things on which to blame the loss. If Romney loses, he can at least say in all truthfulness that Hurricane Sandy foiled his final hope.
During the final week of this election Romney had to sell the country on his message: we need stronger leadership in the White House. The only problem is that Barack Obama is showing strong leadership during a serious natural disaster for much of the Northeast. Events on the ground fly in the face of the narrative on which Romney staked his campaign and Barack is making his best counter argument without so much as holding a campaign rally. Romney needed to be able to spend the final week making his case that Barack Obama is a weak leader. Instead, Obama has stopped campaigning and is demonstrating strong leadership (even in the opinion of Chris Christie, who is not doing his “pal” Romney any favors this week). Right now it looks like a death blow for Romney’s chances.
The best evidence that Obama has a good lead is that Fox News has the race a tie. The best evidence that it’s still going to be extremely close is that Huffington Post only has Obama at 277 sure electoral votes. The Obama lead is three – nearly outside the margin of error – in Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Obama has a 2 point lead in New Hampshire and it’s a dead heat in Virginia and Florida. Romney would have to win Florida and Virginia, plus find a way to steal Ohio and Iowa if he were to have a chance.
Nate Silver at the 538 Blog – still the best prognosticator in this cycle – has been consistently upping Obama’s probability of a win. As of this morning, Silver gives Obama a 79% chance of winning, and Romney a 21% chance.
Drew Linzer at Votamatic says that there would need to be a systematic problem with all of the polling data for Romney to pull this one out. Linzer says that systematic polling issues would mean that “most – or even all – of the polls have been consistently biased in Obama’s favor. If this is happening, we’ll have no way to know until Election Day. (Of course, it’s just as likely that the polls are systematically underestimating Obama’s vote share, but then Democrats have even less to be worried about.)” As of this morning Linzer is forecasting an Obama landslide, with 332 electoral votes.
Polltracker has Obama 3 percentage points ahead in Ohio, and has Obama with a slight lead overall. The Princeton Election Consortium breaks it down this way:
“Here at the Princeton Election Consortium, the Meta-Analysis of state polls points toward an Obama electoral victory. The median outcome is Obama 308, Romney 230 EV, with a Meta-Margin of Obama +2.4%+/-0.5%. To put it into plain English: If state polls are accurate on the whole, then Obama will win.”